Every home has its quirks, and the older the home, the more quirks you’re likely to find. But the quirks come along with charm, so there’s a trade-off there — and our guest today lives in a century-old farmhouse that has plenty of quirks (like a funky tile hearth installed by a previous owner) that she and her family are working hard to change into more modern and beautiful charm, like this gorgeous DIY concrete hearth:
But this corner wasn’t so gorgeous to begin with — see how Sarah and her hubby transformed it below and get inspired with these other beautiful fireplace makeovers (click each photo to see more):
Here’s Sarah to show you some of her amazing home — be sure to stop by her site to see more!
Hello there, thanks for stopping by! This is Sarah from She Holds Dearly visiting today and inviting you into our fireside room to see how we poured our own concrete hearth. Before we get started, though, let me just quickly introduce myself. . .
After studying interior design at the London Guildhall University and working in the design industry, I am currently in a season of raising my three children on a farm in Washington state.
My husband and I are renovating a farmhouse built in 1906 and we get to share the ins and outs of home restoration and vintage design on the blog. I am also extremely passionate about intentional living and time management and recently launched an online course teaching on these amazing topics.
Simple DIY Concrete Hearth
Our fireside room is the quirkiest room in the house for so many reasons, not the least of which has been the hearth. The people before us laid tile in an awkward shape and nothing about it complimented the house.
We finally decided to pull up the odd “wing things” on the sides and bury the remaining tile in a layer of concrete. Then, we added a finishing touch at the end that still makes me happy every time I see it.
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scrap 2×4 pieces
plastic or paper to protect the floor
wire mesh for concrete
Sakrete High Strength Concrete Mix
We used 13 bags
I wanted to complement the stainless steel fridge in the kitchen, so I went with a light gray color
this is for leveling, we just used a 2×4
I used these little plastic stamps and they worked OK, but it would be better to use brass stamps or a insert a plaque.
clear coat concrete sealer
Decide on the shape that you want and remove existing material that will not work for the shape.
Cut the 1/4″ underlayment into strips and use to form any curves in the hearth.
Protect the floor outside the form with paper or plastic.
Nail the underlayment to the 2×4’s from inside the form and weigh them down with sandbags.
Use the level and chalk line to mark any walls that will have contact with the concrete so they have a level fill line.
Use the wire cutters to shape the wire mesh and fill the entire form.
Follow the directions on the concrete bags to mix, using a tub or wheel barrel and square shovel.
Use the pool trowel, hand float, screed and burner to smooth the slab.
The 1/2″ edger will give you a soft rounded top on the edge of the hearth. I highly recommend this step.
We monogrammed the wet cement by putting the stamps in place, laying a board over them and tapping gently with a hammer.
At first, it came out looking a little crude, but we kept gently skimming the slab for the top watery portion (called “the cream) and putting that into the letters and re-stamping.
The hard parts were the circles in the 9, 0 and 6. They kept lifting out. We messed with those three numbers for about 30 minutes and it was a little stressful, but we finally got them to work and I am very pleased with the final result.
It would have been easier to have inserted a plaque, though, and I would suggest taking this route, if you are nervous about this step.
Let dry for 24 hours before removing the form.
Then, allow to dry for a week and seal with sealer.
Any concrete that gets on the wall or floor can be scrubbed off with water and a toothbrush.
5 hours, plus one week of dry time
*But our friend came over with his concrete tools in exchange for a football game and food. I highly suggest this route. (wink!)
Amazing work, Sarah! Such a beautiful and budget-friendly solution!